Memorandum to AP Chief Secretary on Loan Waiver

140622 Chief Secretary Telangana final Download

Rytu Swarajya Vedhika has a submitted a memorandum with the following demands.

  1. As a first measure, the Government must delink the loan waiver proposal from distribution of Kharif loans for the current agricultural season and should immediately take action to disburse crop loans  without delay to all the farmers including Tenant farmers.
  2. While the farming community is in deep crisis due to indebtedness, loan waiver is not a solution to end the crisis. The crisis is still continuing even after the debt waiver and relief extended during 2008.   A comprehensive solution lies in bringing in policy changes related to all aspects of agriculture (Credit, input support, extension and marketing) as well as pursuing the land reforms agenda with renewed vigour to bring about a meaningful change in the agriculture sector to help close to 85% ofsmall and marginal farmersto secure and sustain their livelihoods. . A piecemeal, myopic solution to the problem in the form of loan waivers alone is a grossly inadequate solution to the larger, complex set of problems ailing the farming sector in the State.
  3. Tenant farmers, dalits, tribal and women farmers who received lands under various land distributionschemes do not have access to institutional credit. They are taking loans from private money lenders, input dealers or Microfinance Institutions at a higher interest rate (as high as 60% Rs. 5 per Rs. 100 per month).  These farmers  are in deep crisis and constitute a large chunk of farmers committing suicides. This loan waiver is of no help  to them.
  4. Government should make immediate effort to increase access to institutional credit to real cultivators.  One of the problems often expressed by the bankers in giving crop loans to these farmers is the lack of a guarantee for repayment. The state government should establish a Credit Guarantee Fund for small and marginal farmers which can give collateral security to the tenant farmers.
  5. All the real cultivators who are not covered under institutional credit are to be organised into cooperatives and linked to the institutional credit.  All their high interest private loans can be swapped with low interest bank loans.
  6. Loans of all farmers who have committed suicides since 1997 have to be waived and their private loans be swapped with no interest bank loans.
  7. Government should introduce special budget for agriculture with an allocation of atleast 10% of the total budget.
  8. Government must ensure that the loan waiver does not benefit non-cultivating, absentee land owners who have other major sources of income or livelihood and have taken loans in the name of agriculture. Specific mechanisms must be evolved to identify and eliminate the above categories of landowners from the purview of the loan waiver scheme. Further, steps must be taken to identify the actual cultivators and update the revenue records accordingly. Government must also actively explore mechanisms (e.g. setting up a separate Committee) for evolving a set of criteria to enable eligible farmers benefit from the loan waiver scheme in a meaningful manner.
  9. Government should also take care that the loan waiver does not apply to ineligible loanees through the following measures
    1. Restricting the loan waiver only to crop loans
    2. In case government decides to waive short term and allied sector loans, it should be restricted to small and marginal farmers only (up to 4 ha in rainfed areas, 2 ha in irrigated areas)
    3. Exempting Hyderabad district from the purview of the loan waiver. A thorough enquiry should be conducted and if need be waiver can be extended in the second phase. Pending this, the crop loan waiver up to one lakh for all farmers in the other district should be done immediately.
  10. Government should with stain from any effort to impose additional taxes or issue bonds and transfer the burden on to people or the next government.

The real cost of credit constraints: Evidence from micro-finance

In December 2010, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh passed a law that severely restricted the operations of micro-finance institutions and brought the micro-finance industry to an abrupt halt. We measure the impact of micro-credit withdrawal in this unique natural experiment and find that average household expenditure dropped by 19 percent relative to a control group after the ban. The largest decrease was observed in expenditure on food. There is some evidence of higher volatility in consumption after the ban. All households were affected and not just the borrower households, which may suggest general equilibrium effects.


Farm suicides on the rise: AP

TNN | Jun 30, 2013, 12.33 AM IST

MAHBUBNAGAR: Excessive use of chemical pesticides, erratic rainfall, heavy debt burden, and spurious seeds are taking a heavy toll on farmers in the perennially drought-hit Mahbubnagar district.

As many as 20 farmers have committed suicide in the district in the last three months. They have taken the desperate step unable to bear the losses due to frequent crop failures or clear the mounting agricultural debts. Insufficient loan advances by banks and high interest rates collected by private moneylenders too have played their part in the sucides.

District officials refuse to admit the increasing instances of farm suicides, but don’t’ deny that Mahbubnagar district is “vulnerable” thanks to a combination of factors ranging from high consumption of pesticides and fertilisers to unpredictable climatic conditions. The authorities wait the post-mortem reports for disbursal of compensation.

On Saturday a tenant farmer, Venkataiah, 35, from Pervetipally of Upunuthala mandal committed suicide by consuming pesticide. Only a day before, a tribal-farmer, Shankar Naik (50) of Badrigani thanda of Veldhanda mandal, ended his life following crop loss. Last week, P Srisailam of Manganoor village of Bijinapally mandal took the same extreme path.

Srisailam borrowed Rs 4 lakh to cultivate his five acres of land but could not repay the loan as the crop failed.

Mahbubnagar agriculture join director KV Rama Raju blames farm suicides on the indiscriminate use of pesticides. “Farmers here spray pesticides in quantities more than required. They thus not only spend more money on pesticides, but end up in losses or get low yield as excessive spraying of chemicals change the texture of the soil”.

Rama Raju said farmers sowing cotton crop are the most vulnerable of the lot. They invest big amounts on things not needed. “Many farmers do not follow the advice of agricultural extension officers on the optimum use of fertilisers and pesticides,” he added.

The rate of suicide is relatively higher among farmers who grow non-assured crops like cotton than those who go in for crops like paddy and maize. Some crops bring in minimum profits, but the returns are guaranteed.

“Farmers in Mahbubnagar district are vulnerable,” admits district collector M Girija Shankar, though he evades a reply on the exact number of farmers committing suicide in the district.

The district administration has so far distributed Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the families of about 70 farmers who committed suicide, “The situation is grim in case of SC/ST farmers,” he said adding that distribution of compensation is often delayed for technical reasons.

Clinical psychologists point out that farm suicides are mainly a psychological problem. “Such deaths can be prevented or at least minimized if we counsel farmers at frequent intervals,” said Dr M Radha Krishna Rao, senior clinical psychologist.

Last year about 120 farmers committed suicide in the district. Many farmers could not take up cultivation last season as the monsoon played truant in the district even as the groundwater levels plummeted.

“The crop in our five acres dried due to lack of water. We incurred heavy losses. This forced my husband to commit suicide,” said G Yadamma of Govonipally village in Nawapet mandal. Her husband G Pentaiah (43) consumed a pesticide on June 30 finding no means to pay Rs 80,000 he borrowed from a private moneylender.

Half a dozen tribal-farmers committed suicide so far this season. Eraguntla thanda of Bijinapally mandal recorded four suicides. Govind (38), Deshya (30), Mnya (28) and Madhya (35) committed suicide in the last two months in the mandal. Ironically, these farmers could not procure loans from banks and had to approach private moneylenders to raise crops. “Private moneylenders are responsible for the death of my husband,” says Madavath Devli, the widow of Govind.

Farmers, who took up cotton cultivation are the worst hit in the district, said Balu Naik of Kalwakurthy. Many tribals have migrated to other parts of the country leaving their agricultural fields behind. K Krishna Reddy, district president of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, alleged that banks had stopped issuing fresh loans unless farmers clear the old dues. He said the crop insurance compensation for the year 2011 is yet to reach farmers.

Four cotton growing states records 68% of the Farmers Suicides: NCRB 2012 data shows

National Crime Records Bureau Report-2012 shows increasing agrarian crisis in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra

The latest report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that the total farmers suicides recorded during the year 2012 were 2,84,694 in the last eighteen years. NCRB started documenting the ‘Farmers Suicides’ as a separate category under self employed from 1995 onwards.

Four states Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh which are predominantly growing cotton in rainfed conditions records 68% of the farmers’ suicides. The two major states Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have shown increase of 13% and 17% respectively compared over last year and together account for 46% of the total farmers’ suicides.

State of ground water in Andhra Pradesh

Over exploitation of ground waters, falling water tables, pollution of water even at those depths are some of the issues that have been worrying experts and environmentalists for nearly two decades. Of course the governments have been making laws to prevent this and also to improve situation. However experts say not only the laws are not properly implemented, still worse the violations are ignored for various reasons. In this backdrop The Hans India takes a look at the present situation in the State.

Realty affecting water tables

East Godavari

As far as the salinity in most of the areas in Konaseema, oil explorations of ONGC are main reasons. Seismic surveys being taken up by ONGC are changing the whole eco-system in the region”


East Godavari district can be divided into three parts to measure ground water level namely delta, upland and agency area. The ground water level is very high in the delta area, varies in the agency area and very low in the upland area. Nearly one lakh acres of land is being cultivated through rain harvesting mostly in upland area.

The ground water level in most of the mandals in upland area is very low. Average groundwater level was 15.47 meters in upland areas. It was 15.47 meters in January 2012 whereas it went down to 12.38 meters in February 2013.


In the delta region of the district, ground water level is very high, thanks to the irrigation system created by Sir Arthur Cotton. The average water level in the delta region was 3.46 meters in January 2010 and 2.78 meters in February 2013. But, the ground water is not useful for drinking purpose in mandals like Malkipuram, Uppalaguptham, Tallarevu, Sakhinetipalli, Mamidikuduru, Karapa, I Polavaram, Kajuluru and Allavaram as salinity of water is high and the people depend on protected drinking water systems and water tanks for drinking water.

In the agency area, the average ground water level was 4.85 meters in January 2012 and 5.41 meters in February 2013. The district average of water level was 8.799 meters in January 2010 and 6.969 in February 2013. The district average groundwater level was 7.826 meters in May 2011, 7.512 meters in May 2012 and 7.649 meters in April, 2013.

Speaking to The Hans India, Deputy Director, Ground Water Department, RV Venkateswara Rao said, “We measure static ground water level with 48 piezo meters in the district. Normally, we focus on water levels in upland areas as there will be no significant changes in the water levels in delta as well as agency areas. We measure water levels in pre-monsoon period from December and post- monsoon period from November.

There is no significant change in the water levels in the past few years and there is significant rise in the ground water level this year in comparison with the last year, thanks to Nilam cyclone”.

Official spokesperson of Konaseema Rythu Parirakshana Samithi, Matta Mahalakshmi Prabhakar said, “Ground water reserves are depleting as the region is becoming concrete jungle and due to lack of rain harvesting. Real estate boom is another reason for depleting ground water levels in the district. The government should continue to take steps to store water by cleaning up abandoned water tanks and canals through NREGS. There is need of check- dams and rain harvesting. As far as the salinity in most of the areas in Konaseema, oil explorations of ONGC are main reasons. Seismic surveys being taken up by ONGC are changing the whole eco-system in the region”.

Poor management of surface waters


N Viswnath

The depletion of ground water is happening everywhere in the region. Due to deviation in rain fall and shortsightedness of government officials over maintaining surface water at natural water bodies, the situation of ground water level worsening year by year.

The following is the situation in different districts:


The shallow water table through Piezo meters studied by Ground Water Department clarified that the water level in Kuppagam of Adoni revenue division is 53.80 meters bgl (below ground level) in March 2013.

It was 51.98 mbgl in previous month and was 47.25 in last year March. The water level depleted by almost all 6.55 m in one year’s time.In Alamur-D village (Rudravaram mandal) the water level was just 13.1 m in 2012, but went into deep by 37.65 m by March 2013. In last May the water table was just 10.88m and depleted by 39.87m, which is worst in entire district.

Chittoor District

The situation is same in Chittoor district also. The average rain fall across the district during April in every year was 872.2 mm, but actual spell was 809.3mm, where the deviation was calculated at minus 7.21%. The worst affected villages are in Western part of Chittoor district like Piler, Punganur, Tamballapalle, Kalikiri, Kalakada, B.Kothakota and others. The deviation of rain fall was almost all crossed minus 35%.

However the ground water table was also affected a lot. In Pulicharla village the water table dipped from 21.35 mbgl in April 2012 to 46.92 m in April 2013, which is almost all minus 25.57 mbgl. Here the actual rain fall in April 2013 was 601.2 mm against the normal rain fall 856.8 mm. Three fourths of district was in negative trend in terms of ground water table.

Anantapuram District

In Anantapuram district the ground water level was at 42.53 m bgl in Putlur mandal followed by Parigi and Somandepalli mandals, where the levels were at 32.29m and 29.17 mbgl. More scarcity of drinking and irrigated water is in 900 villages and 44 villages were declared as dangerous by district administration. The district’s average ground water level was estimated at 18.44 mbgl. The normal rainfall during April is 552.1 mm, but the actual fall is only 461.2 mm.

Thousands of acres of cultivated land remain barren due to the depletion in ground water table and farmers forced to deviate from cultivation as they lost thousands of rupees on digging of bore wells.

Kadapa District

The district’s average ground water level in March 2013 is at about 17.08 m bgl, which is minus 4.37 m comparatively to March 2012. Comparing to May last year it was minus 1.55 m, because the situation had become worse within two months in 2012. The average GWL in Kadapa district was 12.71 m bgl in March 2012 but dipped to 15.53 m by May 2012, which is 2.82 m depletion in just two months.

In April 2013 the average GWL was 18.69, which is further depletion of 1.73 m bgl just within one month. In March 2013, the GWL was 17.08m, but went to 18.69m. If it is the district’s average data, anyone can imagine the depletion at specific places.

(With inputs from Y.Santosh Reddy-Ananthapur, K. Rajkumar-Kurnool, MS Murthy-Chittoor and P.Nagaraju-Kadapa)

Holistic approach is lacking

Household level Rail Water Harvesting (RWH) systems are required. However, by putting them on the top of the water conservation agenda does not help

ReddyHyderabad urban agglomeration (HUA) has a population of about 7 million. The city had a number of natural and human-made water bodies locally known as Cheruvus, Kuntas etc.

These water bodies acted as water storage reservoirs for irrigation, drinking and groundwater recharge, and have been an inalienable part of the ecology of the city and its surroundings.
Gradually, while some lakes were encroached and replaced by concrete buildings, several others got severely polluted with the domestic and industrial effluents.

Increasing number of bore wells and the decline of ground -water table have resulted in the bore wells going deeper to over 800-1000 feet in several areas as many old bore wells are drying up. Due to increasing population in HUA and the slow expansion of Water Board coverage area, residents are increasingly resorting to groundwater usage.

With lesser availability of safe supplied water, in Hyderabad, as in many urban areas, poor communities tend to depend more on groundwater. Many landless agricultural labourers and marginal farmers have started migrating to Hyderabad to find employment, putting extra pressure on the already stressed urban infrastructure.

The new Hyderabad growth plan, in the form of HMDA Master Plan 2031, does not mention water and sanitation services, including the expected demand, resources to meet such demand and land use planning related to watsan services. Hyderabad also houses commercial and industrial activities like every other urban area. Pollutants released into the ground through these commercial and industrial activities seep deep and diminish the quality of groundwater.

Survey by Ground Water Department revealed that more than 50,000 borewells have gone dry in the summer of 2012.

Groundwater stress and Projected Water Deficit for Hyderabad Considering the limited potential of hard rock aquifers, reduced recharge and that the resource is being tapped from deeper depths, there is possibility of degradation of groundwater beyond recoverable level in future due to rapid urbanization in Hyderabad.

In case of Hyderabad, there is already stress on ground water and as per one estimate, about 25-30% of total water requirement is being met through ground water.

Water transport from Hyderabad’s peri-urban villages into the city is increasing, with it being a lucrative business, over and above pursuing agriculture. Hyderabad Metro Water Board also does such pumping and transport groundwater.

The intended regulation through Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA) has not made any impact in urban areas. Under the Act, it is compulsory to get permission from MRO before digging any bore well. It is also prohibited to draw water from below 500 feet of ground level. To meet the growing demand, people of all sections of the society frequently flout both these regulations.

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) RWH has regained its importance as a valuable alternative or supplementary water resource, along with more conventional water supply technologies.

Much actual or potential water shortages can be relieved if rainwater harvesting is practiced more widely Rainwater can be used for multiple purposes ranging from irrigating crops to washing, cooking and drinking.
However, individual rainwater harvesting systems are getting thrust, more than watershed management and conservation. Household level RWH systems are required. However, by putting them on the top of the water conservation agenda does not help.

Water as a natural resources should belong to everyone, especially when it comes in the form of rain, rivers, rivulets, ground water and tanks. Rain water harvesting would also become successful in increasing groundwater when there is promotion of urban watershed development, management and conservation including protection of water flow channels, tanks, nalas, cheruvus and lakes from encroachment and pollution. Restoration of such systems should be the priority of laws, regulatory authorities and residents.

Misuse of water  a big worry

Krishna dt

Ch Sowmya Sruthi

In Krishna district we receive 138 millimeters of rainfall. Although we are utilizing the ground water enormously, we are not contributing to recharge the water that is used. On the other hand, increasing mercury levels have added to the evaporation of the groundwater reserves.

The maximum depth of groundwater’s in the district is at Musunuru mandal with 50 meters and minimum depth is at delta area in the Vijayawada city with less than 5 meters low.

Rainwater harvesting is a concept that has to be educated among the farmers and digging farm ponds which requires only one percent of the total land are ideal techniques to save water in the agriculture field.

Deputy Director of Groundwater Department Angatha Varaprasada Rao said, water conservation should be made a habit. Misuse, indiscriminate use, inefficient use, over use of water which we think is freely available should be contained. Farmers should come out of the myths that farm ponds occupy land and lessen the harvest.

In fact, the pond which requires one percent of the land can not only collect and preserve rain water but laterally flows providing moist to the soil which increases the crop or vertically percolates to raise the water table. They may also serve water for the cattle in the field.

Protecting sand reaches essential

Warangal dt

James Edwin

Over exploitation of water resources for decades together and lack of remedial measures have seriously been impacting the level of ground water table in Warangal district. The seriousness of the problem is such that even as the district received above average rain fall in the year 2012-13 there has been a drastic fall in the ground water level in about 300 villages in 13 mandals of the district.

waterThe break-up of the 44 piezometer readings in 44 mandals collected by Ground water department indicates that there has been no improvement in 13 out of 44 mandals despite the high rainfall recorded in Warangal. The district received above normal rainfall of 1,070 mm during 2012-13 as against the 687 mm average recorded in 2011-12. Though this helped to recharge the groundwater table by an average 0.71 metre, the impact was not uniform.

A comparison of the piezometer readings from January-12 to January-13 shows that the ground water table jumped from average 9.02 mbgl (metres below ground level) on January-12 to 8.32 average mbgl as on January-2013. However, the April month district average is standing at 10.88 mbgl indicating the increase of depth of water available below the ground.

The situation in 13 mandals has been termed alarming. The reason for this according to experts in the field is ineffective implementation of AP Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA), 2002, combined with lack of rain water harvesting structures and over-exploitation of and reaches.

According to groundwater department deputy director G Sambaiah if excess sand is excavated from stream bed the bore wells near the stream dry up. Sand bank in rivers and streams help percolation of surface water into the ground and recharge bore Kakatiya University geology professor K Niranjan suggests that more water with high concentration of bore wells and uncontrolled mining of sand reaches should be stopped to improve groundwater table.

According to them, there has been 30 to 20 percent fall in the ground water table in the district in comparison with water table half a decade ago. “The key is rainwater harvesting structures and restoration of tanks,” said the Professor.

“In Warangal district a decade ago about ten percent of borewells used to fail and now the figures raised to 30 percent because of the fast depleting ground water levels” Singareddy Shoury Reddy of Bala Vikasa Service Society, which has been working in the field of water conservation.
In terms of agricultural bore wells the percentage of failed wells is about 50 percent.

The District Water Management Agency (DWMA) which delegated the task of renovating water bodies has completed only five traditional water bodies while works in 128 other water bodies is pending. “If silt from minor and small irrigation tanks is removed there would be a possibility of increasing groundwater 10-15 percent each year” Sambaiah noted. The lack of desiltation of the tanks has been rendering many tanks to dry up even before summer season reaches its peaks, the official noted.

The incident of Laknavaram Lake in Govindaraopet in the district drying up in this season is an example.

The Warangal City Municipal Corporation commissioner Vivek Yadav informed that under the corporation limits the citizens are being encouraged to dig ‘Inkudu guntalu’ (percolation pits) to recharge the ground water level. ‘There have been a positive response and this monsoon we will see the results” he added.